Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Controlling Names of Backup Files.

Controlling Names of Backup Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 18, 2015)

If you choose the option to "always create backup copy" (Word Options dialog box | Advanced | Save area) Word names the resulting backup file like this: "Backup of Accounting Policies.wbk", where the original file was called "Accounting Policies.docx". You may wonder if there is a way to place backups in a different folder, use a different filename extension, or avoid pre-pending the "Backup of" wording at the beginning of the filename.

Some of these things can be changed in Word; others cannot. If you want to change the filename extension for backups, you can theoretically make changes in the Windows Registry. This was easy to do in the menu-based versions of Word (pre-Word 2007), but exactly how it is done in the ribbon-based versions of Word is not as clear.

You cannot change the pre-pending of the "Backup of" wording, and you cannot change the location of the backup files (they are placed in the same directory as the file being backed up). As has been detailed in other issues of WordTips, you can work around both of these issues by simply creating a macro that always saves a second copy of your document every time you save.

Sub FileSave()
    Dim docName As Boolean
    Dim templateFullName As String

    docName = ActiveDocument.name Like "Document#*"
    templateFullName = ActiveDocument.FullName
    If docName = True Then
        Dialogs(wdDialogFileSaveAs).Show
    Else
        ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:="C:\Backups\" _
          & ActiveDocument.name, AddToRecentFiles:=False
        ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=templateFullName
    End If
End Sub

This macro is meant to be a replacement for the Save command. It saves a copy of the document in the C:\backups\ folder, as well as saving in the current location. The file name for the backup is the same as the original; it does not use the .wbk filename extension.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11760) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Controlling Names of Backup Files.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Hiding Individual Cells

Hiding information in one or more cells can be a challenge. This tip presents several different techniques that can help you ...

Discover More

Changing Excel's Starting Date

When keeping track of dates, internally, Excel uses special date serial numbers that are based upon a specific day in the ...

Discover More

Numbering on New Paragraph Doesn't Work as Expected

The Numbering feature in Word can be a bit tricky to navigate. Sometimes it works as it should, and other times it seems to ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Determining the Length of a Non-Document Text File

If you use a macro to create and work with text files, you can find out the length of those files using a simple command. ...

Discover More

Grabbing the MRU List

The MRU (most recently used) list informs you which documents were the last to be opened and edited in Word. You can access ...

Discover More

Formatting Text Files with VBA

Got a bunch of text that you've imported from a text file? Need to make it look better? You can take a stab at it with this ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.